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  1. Anonymous
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    #1

    "What are you?" or "Who are you?"

    Hello,

    I read a sentence like this "What are you? My mother or soemthing?"
    My question is that "who are you" seems to make more sense to me?
    So, can I replace "what" with "who?" And if both will do, which one is more common? Many thanks.


    best regards
    Paula

  2. RonBee's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "What are you?" or "Who are you?"

    Quote Originally Posted by paula
    Hello,

    I read a sentence like this "What are you? My mother or something?"
    My question is that "who are you" seems to make more sense to me?
    So, can I replace "what" with "who?" And if both will do, which one is more common? Many thanks.
    My guess is that that is taken from a conversation that is somewhat confrontational. "What are you? My mother or something?" is perfectly idiomatic. I guess you could say the "or something" makes the "What" appropriate. Another way of saying it, perhaps, would be: "Who do you think you are? My mother?" In neither case is the person asking a question. He or she is, instead, making a confrontational statement.

    Regards,
    RonBee

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    #3
    What is used, I think, to suggest a role rather than a person.

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